October 29, 2011

Trying to go on with life - Jazz Half Marathon recap

I ran the Jazz Half Marathon today.  I have been training for this race as part of a series of 3 half marathons in 3 weeks.  But this one was supposed to be the PR.  The other 2 are being run with 1st timers and would be a regular slow training run for me.  I have been doing everything that I was supposed to - speed workouts, working with the trainer,  and every thing that SmartCoach told me to do.  I ran 2:08 at the Rock N Roll Chicago in August.  I just knew that I had a 2:05 in me - and in my dreams an under 2:00. I just knew that I could do it.

Then my world falls apart.  On October 15th, my husband was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident.  We have been married for 30 years and have 3 grown children, Jennifer - 29, Chris - 27, and Scott - 25. I was married to my best friend.  He was the best father, grandfather, and husband anyone could wish for.  He was a good friend to many people.  Somehow, I am finding the strength to go on.  One of the things that is helping me is my running.  It seems that when I am running, I am focused and don't think of other things.  I find myself talking to my husband, but I don't cry as much.

A little history - Steve and I were both in the Army for 20 years.  Steve had the type of assignments where he ran a lot.  I had mainly hospital assignments - so PT was not always so formal.  Steve did a lot of running and his knees were sore.  I saved my running for my 40's and 50's.  Steve did not really enjoy going with me to runs.  But he saw me run my 1st half marathon, my first marathon, my first triathlon(and probably more runs than he could count) .  When I drug him through countless Expos, he would constantly make sarcastic comments.  But, He supported, encouraged, and congratulated me after every accomplishment or achievement.

So today, in chilly windy New Orleans, I lined up to try and run.  I talked to Steve as I ran.  I really think that he was with me.  This was probably his version of hell, because he did not want to run anymore.  I think that Steve stayed with me for about 11 miles, because then my hip flexor and IT band started hurting.  2 friends had caught me at mile 10 - but I just couldn't keep their pace and watched them get further and further away.  I figure that Steve said, "OK, I ran with you far enough - I'm going to take a break".  I did set a PR 2:05:18.  I will just have to work on those 18 seconds.

Me (911) with some very supportive friends - all much faster than I am

Life has to go one.  It will just be a very different life.  I will not have my best friend next to me every day.  I will not have the person who brings me back to the center when I stray too far. I will not have the sounding board that I have had for 30 years.  Our new grandson, Cole, will never know Hootie.

I can just be grateful that I had the good years.

Steve and me after his band played in Sulphur, LA  March 2006

Please read my daughter's beautiful blog dedicated to her father.

Jennifer's Blog about her dad

Jennifer was the good blogger in the family.  I was trying - it just seemed to take so long. It is just healthy to talk about things and not keep them bottled up.  Hope to be more consistent.


  1. Fran, I'm so very sorry to hear about your husband. It's wonderful that you are able to find some strength and solace in running. Your family has had such a tough go of it lately.....Take care.... sending healing thoughts your way.

  2. Oh, Fran, I'm at a loss for words...I am so so sorry for your family's loss, for YOUR loss. Sending you peace...